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Old 09-14-2017, 09:39 AM
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Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Michigan
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Originally Posted by AnchorAlumna View Post
For a woman in the 1940s, '70s, and early '60s, it was probably more important than the educational experience because it was not so necessary, in many people's eyes, for a woman to have a degree. I know plenty of older women who would talk about a brother getting to go to college while their parents refused to pay for daughter's college, or required her to go to work, or a business school.
Back then it was often taken for granted that a woman who got married before getting her degree would drop out of school...heck, back then they expected to get pregnant within first year or two of marriage.
I even remember a couple my age who talked about their parents only paying for one or two years. They had to pay for the rest, or find a husband who would pay for it!
From what my mom has told me, that was exactly the norm. Fortunately, her parents and my dad (they were high school sweethearts) were progressive.

My mom was one of 3 female students in the business school at Michigan State in the early 1950s, and she dealt with overt condescension from a couple faculty members...until they figured out she could hold her own. Then they kind of left her alone. Of course, she had to also earn a teaching certificate and started out as a business/econ teacher. She had wanted to be a lawyer, but her dad said, "I think you're going to have to rethink that," because she would have faced a lot of difficulty getting into law school, and getting hired, and working through law firm politics, the partnership track, etc.

I have a great deal of admiration and respect for the women who founded our organizations as groups where they could find support and encouragement as pioneering women in higher education. That is always at the front of my mind when I think about my sorority membership. Since I initiated at a chapter chartered in 1882, it has been a prominent part of my view of sororities since the beginning. I had a couple classes in Haven Hall, named after the father of one of our founders, who was an early supporter of co-education.
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